James Irvine (of Irvine Wines) is a self-confessed bower bird, and the other day sent me a photocopy of a quite long, Focus Interview (of myself) that Anthony Rose wrote for the UK Wine & Spirit Magazine in August 1990.
The interview covered many things, but the question and answer that James Irvine was interested in read as follows:
Anthony Rose: How do you see the future direction of Australian wine? Is there a danger of supply outstripping demand and the industry dragging small winemakers down with it?
James Halliday: Yes, there is a danger. The industry’s paths of history are littered with these corpses of under and oversupply victims. There’s no question that we’re going to see a radical repositioning of chardonnay. The position that chardonnay has had over the last 20 years is irrational. Why on earth should chardonnay bring A$2000 a ton when semillon, which costs precisely the same amount to produce brings A$500 a ton. It makes no sense. We’re going to see chardonnay ranged on the shelves at the same price at the bottom end as Rhine riesling, or anything else you care to name ... 100 per cent in casks. ... Plantings of chardonnay are going to double over the next year or so. Those who’ve hung their star on chardonnay are going to have a tough time of it.